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Handwritten letter from Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

Handwritten letter from Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

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The great Portuguese painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva thanks an enigmatic writer for her book offering "a trip around the world".

Handwritten letter from Maria Helena Vieira da Silva to an unknown recipient, probably a writer. One page, front and back. In French. 17cm x 18.7cm. No information about date and location. Excellent condition. Single piece.


(...) Your beautiful book is here on my table. Since it arrived, I want to read it. And, every day, I leave behind the moment when I could calmly go around the world. I'm sure you understand and forgive me. Anyway, I didn't want to take any longer to thank you. It is a great job, which certainly gave him a lot of satisfaction, but also, I imagine, a lot of pity (1).

(1) here maybe Maria Helena Vieira da Silva meant "effort"?

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (1908 - 1992) is one of the great painters of the 20th century and one of the few Portuguese artists with relevant international recognition. But is Vieira da Silva really a Portuguese artist? She studied and lived most of her life in France, starting in 1928, where she helped found the School of Paris. With a figurative style in the 1930s, it evolved into an abstract technique - of lines and labyrinths - which earned him fame and international recognition in the 1950s.

The artist exchanged correspondence with friends, artists, writers and politicians and, above all, the great love of her life, Arpad Szenes, also a painter: one of the most emblematic couples of contemporary art. In addition to manifestations of love and friendship, conversations about exhibitions or painting, other issues appear in the missives, such as Vieira da Silva's health problems and also the artist's existential concerns, who liked and needed to travel in search of inspiration and a certain amount of happiness.

This letter, mysterious, subtly testifies to this need and the artist's torments. In addition, almost all of the painter's letters have been conserved by the family and by Portuguese and French institutions: only a half dozen, belonging to collectors, have appeared on the market in recent years.

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